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The Windup Girl
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2010 Reads > TWG: The end (spoilers!)

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Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments I'm reposting this from the Ning forums.

So, did you realize who the man with the sores in the boat was?

Do you think this is leading to another novel? I hope so. In some ways, it felt like the entire book was setting up a world in which we could see the New People develop their own culture and space, just like the one Emiko dreamed about. She isn't effected by the diseases, loves the flooding, and can survive eating practically anything (plus - superior hunting speed!). What is the negative, except for when she has to fight for survival against regular humanity, which is clearly headed for full-blown destruction except little pockets.

Another novel might focus around the remaining few adapting to a wind-up heavy culture. That would be interesting.


Nemaruse Neoxeekhrobe Hulkonnowolf | 33 comments Another novel, I doubt that. Not quite is there left about the windups and the mystery they would have been.


Rick Pasley (hikr3) | 71 comments I posted something akin to this on the ning forum but I'll post again here. I am most interested in how this world got to the place it is. I want to know more about the calorie men, and about the plight of the chinese refugees, and the warrior windups. Is there a paradise in this world where others try to sneak in across guarded borders? This world is rich and vivid, with plenty of room for other stories. Bacigalupi writes wonderful short stories so I am guessing there will be a few more of those from him, but I would like to see much more of this world.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 2898 comments I think there is an entire story to be told from where Anderson was before, Finland or Norway or wherever that was.


Rick Pasley (hikr3) | 71 comments Jenny wrote: "I think there is an entire story to be told from where Anderson was before, Finland or Norway or wherever that was."

I agree! They allude several times to how it all went bad, but never really give any details. I would like to hear more of that story, and of how the calorie men came into power to begin with.


message 6: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jlawrence | 960 comments Mod
Just finished it, and I agree, Jenny, Bacigalupi definitely provides an opportunity for further exploration of what New People could become, through Gibbons' offer to Emiko at the end - it could range anywhere from New People just establishing their own separate communities to a truly New People-dominated world, as you've suggested.

And there's also a rich possibility of exploring the catastrophes the world went through and different societies' reactions to those catastrophes, like you're talking about, Rick. The book gives you enough information to have a grasp of what happened before, but there's a lot of history just hinted at that could be expanded upon.

So yeah, I think he could move either forward or backward in time with this world he's set up, and I'd be interested to see him do that in short story or novel form.


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments I think it would be interesting to read a prequel. But I dont think the story should be told any farther then it was. I loved how the ending was hung out there. How one scientist with no conscience might make a decision affecting the entire globe.

The ending seemed to pose 2 questions to me.
1)to remove any safeguards and let New People freely populate the world would be a crime against humanity wouldnt it?
2) Or would it be removing their shackles of bondage and letting them fulfill some sort of destiny?


message 8: by Visible (new) - added it

Visible Procrastinations | 11 comments For those looking for prequels, Paolo Bacigalupi's Windup Stories is available as a download in various formats from Night Shade Books. These are two earlier short stories from the world of The Windup Girl;

“The Calorie Man” © 2005 by Spilogale, Inc. Originally published in The
Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, October/November 2005.

“Yellow Card Man” © 2006 by Paolo Bacigalupi. Originally published in
Asimov’s Science Fiction, December 2006.

cheers :)


message 9: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jlawrence | 960 comments Mod
Visible wrote: "For those looking for prequels, Paolo Bacigalupi's Windup Stories is available as a download in various formats from Night Shade Books. These are two earlier short stories from the world of The Win..."

Whoa, that's great! He's already done what some of us were wishing for. I'll have to check those out. :)


message 10: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim (jimbogeek) | 9 comments Micah wrote: "I think it would be interesting to read a prequel. But I dont think the story should be told any farther then it was. I loved how the ending was hung out there. How one scientist with no conscience..."

I would have to agree with you. I couldn't but help like Emiko and hope for the second option. But I also believe we should not be messing with the world in this way. Of course a doubt a sequel would that clear cut on the outcome.


message 11: by Micah (last edited Apr 12, 2010 11:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments Jim wrote: I would have to agree with you. I couldn't but help like Emiko and hope for the second option. But I also believe we should not be messing with the world in this way. Of course a doubt a sequel would that clear cut on the outcome. "
Yes I agree that people shouldn't be messing with the world this way. However what if they already had? Would it be right to keep these "new people" in bondage?


message 12: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim (jimbogeek) | 9 comments Jim wrote: "Micah wrote: "I think it would be interesting to read a prequel. But I dont think the story should be told any farther then it was. I loved how the ending was hung out there. How one scientist with..."

I do not think they should be kept in bondage. The question should be, do we allow them to reproduce? If we where talking about an animal we would be exterminating them; like the snake head fish in the north east. I do think being a human, or at least very close to human, makes a difference.

I am not sure weather new people should reproduce. I definitely like Emiko in the story and want her to have children if she wants. But if this meant the old people would be disadvantaged, I would be less likely to think it was a good idea. Like many things I think one way in the abstract but another when dealing in specifics.


message 13: by John (new) - rated it 4 stars

John (jacor) I find it interesting that you have all bought into the idea that the New People are so different from us as to be alien. Yes, they are genetically modified, new and improved... yet don't you think that they are still fundamentally human? Why the prejudice?


message 14: by Will (new) - added it

Will (w13rdo) | 37 comments Jim wrote: "Jim wrote: "Micah wrote: "I think it would be interesting to read a prequel. But I dont think the story should be told any farther then it was. I loved how the ending was hung out there. How one sc..."

"Human" evolution is now just as much about passing down culture and knowledge as it is about the simple replication and gradual modification of DNA. If we create new sentiences, they should be free, to both reproduce and determine their own fates. To do otherwise is both counter-intuitive and self-destructive (as a species/culture/collective organism).


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1071 comments John wrote: "I find it interesting that you have all bought into the idea that the New People are so different from us as to be alien. Why the prejudice?..."

Oh not prejudice. I just thought the book posed that question very well. I think that the "new people" should be free to do as they will. However much like Brave New World (re-reading it now) the new people have been both genetically and socially manipulated into bondage. I thought that was the heart of this story.
These "new people" are human, but the manipulation of their genes and personalities has made their free will almost non-existent. There were many times in the book that Emiko didn't want to do something but then both her training and genes kicked in. Not only making her do it, but also forgetting that she ever did not want to. This is just a more evolved form of slavery don't you think?
We only got a small peak at what the "new people" are capable of when they break their chains and actually exercise their free will. I liked how the end of the story left that premise hanging out there. What would happen if the "new people" were actually free, both to re-produce and to defy their training? It could spell the end of regular humanity.


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